The next part of my series “Flying with kids” is here, you can read my previous post here.
Part 2: How and what to pack! (for the actual flight)
- Find out what your needs are. Make a list of what you would normally need for a long car drive, and then add some more. How many changes of clothes do they need? Add one. How many nappies will they need? Double that. How many bottles of milk will she drink during our travels? Add at least three. If anything does happen and your flight is delayed or in the worst case you have to stay overnight somewhere, you will be glad you over-packed. I always say more is more when dealing with kids.
- Think of where you are going. Are you flying to a tropical paradise, or are you going to the big snow? As we are going to (hopefully) snowy Norway from summery Australia, the kids will start the trip in light clothes, probably dresses or jumpsuits. I will then add stockings when it gets cold, and for when we step off the flight in Oslo, I will have beanies and gloves available as well as jumpers. Their winter clothes will be in the big suitcase, but on top so they can get dressed in that as soon as we get our bags.
- Once you know what you are taking on board, ‘group’ the things into what their level of need is.
- Find out what bags to bring. I will be having one wheeled suitcase, one nappy bag, one fanny-pack (or bum-bag) and a cheap backpack to throw away. I’ll get to how I’ll configure this later.
- Pack your bags at least a week out. Make out you are getting it down from the locker to get a specific thing. Try to remember where things are. The last thing you want is to have to rummage through while balancing three children.
Now, I’ll explain how I will pack my bags and what will be in them.
- My fannypack – this will be for Melodies diabetes needs. I need to have them on me the whole time, and this way I won’t risk leaving it behind in the toilets or somewhere else while handling all four of us.
- The nappybag. This one will have nappy change needs, obviously, and the bottle needs for Ricky, but only enough to cater for the first flight or hours. Also, this will have a change of clothes for each child. I will also try to put as much food as possible, as well as refillable drink bottles as this will be the bag that stays down most of the time.
- ‘Disposable’ backpack. I will buy a cheap backpack for all the disposables, so when it is empty, I can chuck that out as well. Not the best, I know, but it saves my sanity a little. This one will have more food and nappies and bottles, and anything that will be ‘used up.’
- Suitcase with wheels. All the rest will go in here. Our change of clothes into warmer clothes and/or shoes, phone chargers, toiletries and stuff we won’t normally need on the actual flight, but in transit rather.
Next up – what will I bring?
- We all know kids are hungry at any time during the day, so extra snacks, fruit (as long as you are allowed to bring it) and food in general is a good idea. I will bring some of the pouch foods for Ricky (although I don’t like using them), as they are not very messy and they don’t go off. For the others I will have some sugar-free lollies and lots of popcorn (both things Melodie can eat without it affecting her blood sugars) for snacks, and we will have nuts for when in transit. We will probably bring some sandwiches and apples and carrots as these are foods that don’t go off easily in our bags. Even though my kids don’t go crazy after having sugar, I will still not be bringing much sugary stuff, because of Mel’s diabetes.
- The girls will have a bottle each, (little ones will have leak proof) to refill, instead of using the aircraft cups, which WILL get spilled.
- Entertainment for the kids. They are getting a tablet to share for Christmas, so we will open that one early. I will have my iPad for the other one. It will have games, movies and music, and with a headset each, there will hopefully be no fighting. I will wrap up some small surprises for them to unpack once they start to get grizzly, and I will bring loads of extra crayons. They both love colouring-in, so they will have a book each and crayons, and I know they will probably all fall to the floor and get lost, so if I can ‘refill’ their stock, they may stay happy. Stickers are always pretty awesome, and can keep them entertained for ages. Ricky will just have some books and a few toys. For when she drinks her bottle, I have one of those bottle savers, so if it falls to the floor, I can fish it back up again.
- Speaking of bottles, before we go I will buy a few of the cheap bottles to brink with us. The ones she uses now are about $10 per bottle, and I’d get bummed if I left them behind. If it takes up to much room after it is empty, I can always just throw them out as well.
- Hopefully, they will have a good sleep on the flight. Usually you get blankets, but it can get quite cold, so if I can fit extra ones in their backpacks, I will. Melodie already has a nice neck thing for sleeping, and we need another one for Sophia.
- Have many copies of passports, tickets and birth certificates. I have been caught out before, without the birth certificate. Have copies readily available if anyone asks.
- A stroller. They aalways say you can borrow one there. But they aaalways make you wait. So I’m bringing a cheapie.
- Extra dummies! My goodness, if they got lost, we’d all be lost!
- I am also bringing my baby carrier for Ricky. If I end up having to carry Sophia or put her in the stroller, it’s nice not having to carry Ricky (she is heaaavy!).
- A backpack harness for Sophia. Although she really isn’t a runner, you just don’t know – and there is no way of trusting her in those situation. It will take a few seconds of looking the other way and someone can take her away. So she will be on a leash!
I think that’s it for now, the next Part will be about boarding and in flight. (Please remember this is posted BEFORE I have flown with them, and I may change things after I have had the experience.:))